Ask the Thatcher


Question

Ask the ThatcherMy property is listed, thatched in water reed and I am having a new ridge which is currently a block cut one. Do I need to get listed building planning consent if the Thatcher wants to change the pattern and cut on it? 

Answer

No – this is between you and your Thatcher. If your property is thatched in Long straw some councils like to see a flush ridge. With a Long Straw roof it is best to check first especially if the roof does have a flush ridge.

Question

Ask the ThatcherMy property is listed and needs re-thatching, do I need to get listed building planning consent? 

Answer

No – as long as you are not changing the thatch material or making any changes to the roof such as adding windows.

Question

Ask the ThatcherA Thatcher is currently re-doing the ridge on my roof and half way through the job has said he can’t also remove the moss, though he told me when offering a quote that he would. I am a bit annoyed because I will have to pay the same amount and not get the moss removed which I thought I was getting. He says removing the moss will damage the reed. Can you help? I would like a second opinion as to whether this is the case or not. 

Answer

A 12 year old roof is not old and so I would have thought removing the moss should not be a problem.

I have never heard about a Thatcher carrying out a re-ridge and leaving the moss in situ?

The cold weather we have had in the last few days makes the moss freeze to the roof and so it could damage the roof as it will pull out chunks of thatch with it.

The weather is returning to about +8 degrees on Friday so this should be a better temperature and would alleviate this problem.

Sometimes depending on the type of moss/lichen and its severity we would power wash it from a roof or use a hedge cutter to cut about a quarter of an inch of the thatch away – as do many Dutch Thatchers.

Question

Ask the ThatcherYou couldn’t have picked a worse week for this job! 

We have quite heavy snow up here so not sure if you can realistically do anything tomorrow and snowing now. My slight concern is that if the thatch is going on in wet layers then is this not likely to have an adverse effect on the integrity of the roof? 

Answer

Don’t worry –if Thatchers only worked when the weather was not wet we would only work 8 months of the year!

A lot of Thatchers prefer to put straw on the ridge wet as it compacts better.

We will brush any snow from the ridge tomorrow.

Question

Ask the ThatcherA Thatch Owner phoned me to say that when she returned from work she found a Thatcher on her roof carrying out repairs.

Not that unusual except she had not asked him & and he had not told her he was going or had ever given her a price! She had asked him several weeks earlier for a quote. She asked me what she could do.

Answer

I said to her that she should ask him to stop work and not to pay him for any work as she had not authorised this.